It is now about seven weeks since I lost my job as acting Editor at The Royal Gazette.
I don’t think it has really sunk in yet – after 30 years working very hard as a newspaperman it feels wrong to be waking up and not be going to work and reporting what is happening. Work is what I did.
It has also made me realize what a poor journalist I was and how the media seldom stop to reflect – how they live by the minute.
I have covered countless stories about people losing their jobs but never have I stopped and sat down with those affected to talk to them in detail about how it feels.
I’ve interviewed people sure, but only to get a snatch comment for the overall story.
Losing a job is devastating. You spend the majority of your waking day at work, you have friends there, you have a routine – you have an income.
Suddenly it is taken away and there is a massive void that is almost impossible to fill. Everyone else’s life carries on as normal, but you feel out of place, suddenly unable to contribute. Your world has stopped.
Your self-confidence deserts you and you go through a period of intense self-examination, asking yourself ‘was it my fault?’ The answer invariably is ‘no’, but that is of little consolation.
I am relatively lucky, I have skills that I can use in other areas, but many unemployed people do not and to them the future must look very bleak indeed. I now have a small idea of what a future without a job feels like. It is not nice. To use a cliché, it is like looking into a black hole, it is riddled with anxiety and it adds significant stress to relationships.
I have thrown myself into things like blogging, getting on Twitter, looking after the children (which has been a real bonus), and the household chores.
None of it, though, fills the void left by losing your job.